- A new survey suggests that the majority of US adults aren’t ready to return to movie theaters.
- Respondents would be more inclined to return if theaters offered free tickets, however.
- “Godzilla vs. Kong” is still expected to have a decent opening this weekend at the box office.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
After a year of Hollywood and movie theaters being rocked by the pandemic, bigger and bigger movies are starting to roll back into cinemas.
But are audiences ready to return?
A new survey published on Wednesday from the data-intelligence company Morning Consult suggests that the majority of Americans aren’t comfortable returning quite yet, but there’s still hope for the US theatrical industry.
The survey of 2,200 US adults, conducted from March 18 to March 22, found that 42% of respondents felt comfortable returning to a theater in April and 52% felt uncomfortable.
43% of those who felt uncomfortable returning to a theater in April said they would be more inclined to return if the theater offered free tickets.
In Morning Consult’s latest weekly survey tracking consumer comfort levels during the pandemic, which was also released on Wednesday, 35% of the 2,200 US adults surveyed said they’d feel comfortable returning to a theater today. It’s the highest percentage since the company started tracking in spring 2020.
The data suggests that movie theaters in the US still have a long road to recovery. But Warner Bros.’ “Godzilla vs. Kong,” which hit theaters and HBO Max on Wednesday, could still have a decent opening.
Paul Dergarabedian, the Comscore senior media analyst, told Insider that the movie could make at least $US20 ($26) million at the domestic box office over its five-day weekend, a “solid number considering only about 54% of North American theaters are open and at limited capacity.”
The big-budget monster movie already made $US121 ($159) million at the international box office last weekend, a pandemic-era best opening.